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| Booze |

Tailgating: Breakfast Beer

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Students of Texas beer culture might assume that the Texans fans who show up three or four hours before the game to tailgate would prefer Bud Light to craft beers and imports. And while it is undeniably true that a hell of a lot of Bud, Miller and other mainstream brews are consumed in the Reliant parking lot -- a surprising number of upscale beers were also in evidence when we stopped by last month.

Saint Arnold’s brings their tied-dyed Bentley to Texans home games and pours free beverages for the faithful while they last. Which makes sense since Saint Arnold’s founder Brock Wagner is a season ticket holder and crazed Texans fan. Wagner has been known to paint his face with the team logo before taking his seat in the stadium.

Photo by Paul S. Howell

Walking through the throngs, we came across a group called the Kiki Calero Tailgaters (enigmatically named for the Texas Rangers pitcher). These guys pick a different theme for each game. When the Texans played the Miami Dolphins, the Kiki Calero gang ate Cuban food and listened to salsa music. Last month, they celebrated Oktoberfest with large quantities of German Erdinger Weisbier consumed in large vessels--some even wore representations of other large beer vessels as hats.

With a noon kick-off, this Sunday’s Texans game against the Ravens will provide tailgaters with an excellent opportunity to taste test breakfast beers. I am thinking Real Ale's Shade Grown Coffee Porter, which is made with Katz's fair trade coffee, would be the perfect brew for this event--too bad it’s only available in draught. -- Robb Walsh

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